Thursday, December 29, 2016


Ever hear of a poet named Julia Randall? She isn't well-known, not one of the Big Names of 20th century American poetry. Why not? Because only a few can be Big Names. But a long time ago, in some anthology or other, I happened to find her poem "To William Wordsworth from Virginia," and eventually I bought her collection The Path to Fairview: New and Selected Poems, and now I sit rediscovering the quiet depths of her work, amazed that such words could be put in such order on any ordinary page.

It is that kind of day, one that invites rediscovery and contemplation. A little stay-indoors weather, a little poetry. Do people contemplate any more? Did they ever?

The snow has changed to rain here (northwestern New Jersey, in case anyone who doesn't know me has stumbled across this blog). I am contemplating a glass of wine.

This was going to be a blog entry about the merits of writing poetry, how a poet always has the tools of her/his trade within reach: a pencil stub from beneath the car seat, a scrap of paper (Emily Dickinson showed us the way!). Unlike, say, a sculptor, whose process from inspiration to fully-realized three-dimensional creation...I can't even contemplate.

Have you looked up Julia Randall yet? Why not?


snow as if
no one ever
the empty house


  1. Ha, I’d already googled before you asked the question :) I’m not sure I understand the poems yet, but there is something beautiful about them I connect with -- thank you for sharing her!

  2. That's how I feel about so much of her work. She is one of those poets who seem to be looking at the outer world and the inner world at the same time, and seemlessly going between the two. Her poem "Appalachian," which I found online, is one of my favorites, and I'm certain I don't understand 9/10ths of what is in it. But her way with language! It is glorious.